Friday, March 02, 2012

... of my youth

Doing a semi-annual purge of my garage, I came upon a box of my paperback books from my late teens, early 20's. Taking a look at pictures I took of them, you get a window into the mind of a shy, but ambitious young man.

It's not just about content of the books, which were great and informed my outlook, but also the cover art. The books are bright, abstract, inventive. All the things that my upbringing in podunk Iowa was not. Escaping into these books gave me the hope that I would not always be where I was then and the impetus to escape once I was able.

I was able to escape, but just not to where I thought I'd end up. Naive me, I thought I'd somehow venture beyond Earth's confines (all sci-fi geeks do) ... or at least save the free world from bad guys and bed the hot Russian spy. Oh well. I may not have done those things, but at least part of me went there - my imagination.

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."
-- William Shakespeare


CyberKitten said...

Indeed.... Been there, done that, was that person - still am... [grin]

wunelle said...

Love the books! I went through a Heinlein and Niven phase, maybe about the same time as you did. And I've picked up Neuromancer recently. I didn't sample any Ian Fleming until later, and I kind of decided (from one half-finished book) that he was better on film than in print--an unusual conclusion, I'd say, and maybe a mistaken one.

You're from Podunk, IA too? I was born in Manchester, in the NE corner, and moved to MN when I was 7. Small world!

dbackdad said...

CK -- he-he. I guess I'm still there too.

Wunelle -- Manchester, not far from Dyersville (and Field of Dreams), right?

I was born in Hamburg and mostly grew up in Red Oak (both SW Iowa) and graduated from Iowa State in Ames.

wunelle said...

One of my parents went to Iowa State and the other to Drake (with University of Iowa in there somewhere). Always a rivalry.

My first airline job was with a company based in Spencer, IA, and, despite the constant stress of being around HQ, I always loved to come back and visit. There's something idyllic about the open spaces and corn fields and clean little towns.

dbackdad said...

My grandparents had a "cabin" on Okoboji, so we went through Spencer all the time. The fact that their "cabin" was much nicer than my house was not lost on me.